HR Homework


I followed the instructions (rank each of the following jobs in order highest to lowest) per our discussion board instructions. To be honest with everyone, before I read the CBO report (Comparing the compensation of Federal and Private Sector Employees), I thought the non-Federal sector would have higher pay than the Federal. I did not have any justification for this but I have always believed that Federal jobs paid less. Nevertheless, after reading the CBO report, I understand the importance that an employee’s education has on most of our jobs whether they are federal or non-federal. I also was not aware that “federal civilian workers with no more that high school education earned 21 percent more, on average, than similar workers in the private sector”(CBO).

1) Nuclear scientist $112,00

2) Corporate executive $101,000

3) Attorney $131,000

4) Nuclear scientist $112,00

5) Human Resources director $ 79,000

6) Engineer $60,000

7) Attorney $131,000

8) Medical researcher $76,980

9) Accountant $65,000

10) Retail sales clerk 20,000

11) Janitor$22,000 

If we look at the above list again and eliminate jobs that typically are not found in the Federal white-collar workforce (i.e., the workforce covered by the GS pay system), which jobs do you think we would drop from the list? Are those jobs likely to be at the higher end of the salary range or at the lower end?

 I believe that the two lower jobs on my list above, the retail sales clerk and janitor would fall from the list.  This is due to the fact that I have had the privilege of working in an HR office for the last two years. I have never seen retail sales clerk and janitor position listed on our job vacancy list. The janitor positions we do have are contractor jobs and not really part of our organization.

If we take this process a step further and compare the prevalence of particular kinds of jobs in the Federal sector with the prevalence of those jobs in the non-Federal sector, which sector is likely to have a higher proportion of jobs in each of the following categories?

  • Professional (e.g., attorney, accountant scientist, engineer)
  • Managerial


 I believe if we compare both the non-federal and federal prevalence of these particular jobs that the federal sector would have higher proportion of jobs because 80% of our federal jobs within my organization are white-collar jobs, which are the category these jobs fall under.

The job-to-job approach to comparing Federal and non-Federal salaries, as described in much greater detail on pp. 9-11 of the most recent Report on Locality-Based Comparability Payments for the General Schedule (, takes into account both the kinds of jobs that are present in the Federal workforce and the prevalence of those jobs in the Federal workforce before making any comparisons with non-Federal salaries. While the job-to-job approach is not the only way to compare Federal and non-Federal salaries, the statute that requires the use of this approach clearly reflects a judgment that it is the most appropriate means of doing so. Do you agree or disagree with this conclusion? Why?

For our last question, after reading the most recent Report on Locality-Based Comparability Payments for the GS, I do agree that there many ways to compare jobs. But I do not believe the statue that requires the use of this approach clearly reflects a judgment that is most appropriate means of doing so. For the simple reason, that if you do a little research online, you quickly find out that there are numerous studies have used various means and data in reaching opposing conclusions about how federal and non-federal pay compare, but no one approach is definitive


 CBO Report (2012) Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private Sector Employees.

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